Two inquiries are under way into the circumstances surrounding the death of a three-year-old boy who became trapped in a lift shaft in a Galway city centre building yesterday afternoon.
Soloman Soremekun, of Nigerian parentage, sustained fatal injuries in the incident which occurred at about 3pm in the lift shaft of the multistorey Hynes Building in Augustine Street.
The boy and his three siblings were with their mother, who was attending the Department of Social Protection offices on the first floor of the building at the time.
He became separated and is then reported to have become trapped in the shaft, where he sustained fatal injuries.
Two units of Galway Fire Brigade, ambulances, gardaí and a doctor attended after the alarm was raised.
The boy was pronounced dead at the scene, and his body was removed from the lift shaft by ambulance staff at about 4pm and taken to University Hospital, Galway, where a postmortem was due to be carried out.
The Hynes Building was closed to the public, and his distraught mother and siblings were escorted out by gardaí and emergency personnel. His family recently moved from Dublin to the Doughuisce area of Galway city.
The Health and Safety Authority was notified and it confirmed that its inspectors had visited the scene last evening and would be interviewing emergency personnel. Gardaí were also conducting an investigation.
Pastor Larry Ovie of the Faith Christian Fellowship, who is a member of Galway's Nigerian community, said that his sympathies were with the boy's family, and the African community in the city were "very very upset".
“In the African community, we believe that anything that happens to one person happens to all of us, and every little soul is of great importance to us all,” he said. “This is a loss to the boy’s family, to Galway, to all of us here in Ireland.”
“We want to be there to support the little boy’s mother and all his family, and to grieve with them, and make sure that something like this can never happen again.”